Anat Ebgi is pleased to present The Den, a solo exhibition of new watercolor paintings by Los Angeles artist Lisa Edelstein. The exhibition will be on view at 6150 Wilshire Blvd, from September 16 through October 21, 2023. An opening reception will take place Saturday, September 16 from 3 – 6pm.
Lisa Edelstein’s watercolors are marked by an informal and intimate quality. She turns back the clock to an earlier era, not time frozen, rather a conjuring of the familiar past, vivid enough to walk around in for a little while.
Unhurried and deliberate, Edelstein’s works chart a course through memory and time. These navigations begin with the fact that her material is culled from family photo albums and home movies. We’re transported to the salad days of the 1970s—the Edelstein family on a stroll, a vacation to Fire Island, teens drinking Diet Pepsi sitting around a bong, friendly folks gathered in the den.
Edelstein’s selection process is dramaturgical. She prioritizes scenes, stories, and narrative to drive her compositions. The mid 70s heralded a revolution in making home movies through increased access to portable easy-to-operate cameras and video equipment. A pair of works Home Movie: New Camera and Memory depict the enthusiasm of amateur photographers—burgeoning family documentarians pointing their cameras at each other—capturing the moment.
Edelstein strikes many moods: comedy (The Glare), drama (Stoop), and the absurd (Home Movie: Grapefruit). The slightly out of focus and offhanded attitude of compositions such as Den or Home Movie: Umbrella Dance reach into our mundane yet poignant memories of the past. In painting them, Edelstein has given these photographs an enormous amount of concentrated attention when contrasted with the original photographers, who casually pointed a camera in the direction of some action and snapped away. Her painterly mist points toward the complexities of memory to the expanse beyond.
Edelstein bathes us in a cloistered coziness and the warmth of human stories. With a less-defined purpose than say a kitchen or bedroom, The Den is a metaphor for a place with open-ended functionality, with many possibilities—as a protected nook to be totally at ease, to turn up the radio, to page through the family album, or simply sit with your thoughts.
Lisa Edelstein (b. 1966, Boston, MA) studied drama at New York University. Her career began by writing, composing, and performing an original AIDS awareness musical Positive Me at the renowned La Mama Experimental Theater Club in New York City. She pursued a successful acting career in television and film. In recent years, she has also begun directing and writing her own projects. Her first solo exhibition of paintings and watercolors, Family, took place at SFA Advisory in 2022. Edelstein lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.